Have You Heard of Kentucky’s Mysterious Rock Chained to a Mountain?
The town of Pineville, located between the Cumberland River and Pine Mountain, is one of Kentucky's earliest settlements. They are a well-known destination for hiking enthusiasts as Pine Mountain State Park located there is actually also Kentucky's oldest state park. Spanning around 1,700 acres, this state park is also part nature reserve. It is there that lies their biggest claim to fame. A giant rock chained to the top of a mountain.
Legend has it that in the 1930s, the children of Pineville became aware of the giant boulder resting precariously on top of a cliff. They were worried that the rock would succumb to gravity, roll down the mountain and destroy the town below. After sleepless nights and lots of tears, the parents in the town told them all that there was no way the rock could leave it's perch because it was chained to the mountain. But that was a lie!
You see, at that time, there was no chain. This was just a story the grown-ups told the kids so that they would end their fearful sleeping strike. I know I've made all kinds of stories up to get Rollins to go to sleep, so I totally understand!
Feeling guilty for the lie as well as seizing on an opportunity to create an attraction for the park, a group of Pinevillians got together to devise a plan. They acquired an old steam shovel and decided to repurpose one of the chains. As it was almost 3,000 pounds, they had to cut the chain in half so that the team of mules could haul it up the mountain. Even then, it was too heavy, so the volunteers had to finish lugging it up before welding it back together. They attached the 101-foot chain to the boulder on each end and called it a day.
After that, surrounding newspapers heard about this amazing feat and spread the news far and wide. Folks came from all over to see the giant formation "teetering" on the mountain.
The reality is, Chained Rock was not going anywhere! The chain is really just an oldie goldie publicity stunt. Starting as a story to help calm the nerves of the kiddos of Pineville.
It's certainly worth the hike if you are looking for cool places to visit this Summer!